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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Towing Travel Trailer

Been a while since I posted a pic. Been doing lots of camping this summer towing a 24' travel trailer that's about 5k pounds with gear. Commander has been a champ going up steep mountain passes. No upgrades in a while except a couple 4.5 gallon Rotopax I strap to the top (not in this pic). She only gets 9 to 10 MPG when towing and I thought about installing a bigger fuel tank but the Rotopax are a fine solution.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by zing View Post
Been a while since I posted a pic. Been doing lots of camping this summer towing a 24' travel trailer that's about 5k pounds with gear. Commander has been a champ going up steep mountain passes. No upgrades in a while except a couple 4.5 gallon Rotopax I strap to the top (not in this pic). She only gets 9 to 10 MPG when towing and I thought about installing a bigger fuel tank but the Rotopax are a fine solution.
That's a nice looking rig; I definitely have a camping trailer in my future plans, although I don't think I need something quite that big. Good to see you back @zing .


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 10:22 PM
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My wife and I are headed out to Wyoming and Montana next week. We tow a small camper regularly with our Commander. When we travel often we head to some very remote wilderness areas where fuel is not available. I put a 12 gallon boat fuel tank on the roof of my Commander and have a quick disconnect hose and valve that I use to fill the Commander, generator and small trail bike I carry on the back of our camper.

We are headed to some very remote areas in the Wind River Range and also the Absoroka Mountains this year. Our camper is a Jayflight Baja high clearance so we can take it on some pretty rough roads to setup base camp.

Last year we drove about 200 miles of the original wagon road of the Emigrant and Oregon Trails. We crossed a lot of sand washes and quite a few creek crossings through South Pass and the Lander Cutoff. I attached a picture near South Pass out in miles of nothingness - A lot of history way out there and you can really get the feeling of what those pioneer families experienced way back. Dan

The picture didn't load so I posted it in the following.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 10:24 PM
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Here's the picture of the Emigrant/ Oregon trail near South Pass Wyoming. It is hard to believe but there are 65,000 people buried along this trail. A few graves still visible with stones stacked up but most are lost to time.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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That's awesome, I'd love to do some exploring off the grid. We have kids ages 2 and 6, and for now the standard campgrounds are our thing. Maybe when the kids are older....

I've seen the Jayflight Baja, that's a nice little camper. We started out with a similar sized single axle, a Coachmen Apex 15X which was about 18' and under 3K lbs dry. We decided to trade up to a slightly bigger camper - a Salem Cruiselite 201BHXL. Bunk beds for the kids, bigger water tanks and extra space really make a difference, not to mention that it's totally enclosed vs. fold out tent beds of the Coachmen. We thought we'd like the fold out beds and feeling more connected to the outdoors, but campgrounds can be noisy and being enclosed is better. What was interesting is the the heavier Salem Cruiselite with 2 axles tows more smoothly than the lighter Coachmen Apex single axle. Neither would be suitable for getting to remote places though, and we'd need something more like your camper for that.

Next we'll be headed out to the North Cascades again, and then down Oregon and Crater Lake for a 9 day trip in August.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bdalameda View Post
Here's the picture of the Emigrant/ Oregon trail near South Pass Wyoming. It is hard to believe but there are 65,000 people buried along this trail. A few graves still visible with stones stacked up but most are lost to time.
That looks like a long, winding trail; Great pic.




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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 11:28 PM
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That looks like a long, winding trail; Great pic.


There are many sections of the trail like this that go on as far as you can see. It is quite a feeling as you are driving along in air conditioned and full suspension comfort to think about being out there with your entire family and everything you own in a wagon pulled by oxen, trundling along at 1-2 mph for weeks and weeks, looking for food and water, crossing washes and rivers and just trying to survive. Most people walked the entire trail as they needed to save the strength of their oxen. It is quite a site as the trail enters higher sections where the wagons have worn ruts into the stone and are still plainly visible. There are many stories of families losing an ox to exhaustion and they sat there and cried as they knew the road ahead would be impossible. It is a humbling experience.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 12:03 AM
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Here are a couple of more interesting pictures. This place where the trail splits is called, The Parting of the Ways. It was at this point that the pioneers had to make a decision to go towards Fort Bridger and on to Salt Lake or take the Sublette Cut off. Pioneer families that traveled together for many weeks or months would decide at this point which way to go, splitting up friends and even couples who became acquainted during the voyage. One way was shorter but much more difficult with less water and food for the animals the other way was longer more mountainous but water and food was easier to come by. Some would go to Salt Lake and stay others would part and go onto Oregon. All that parted ways here would never see each other again. It was a solemn place and many tears were shed here. The original hand carved trail marker stone is still here (see picture).
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 06:36 PM
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Man, that's crazy!
Thanks for the info on towing, guys! I've recently been reading through old towing threads on here and people's varying experiences, etc. We're soft-shopping for a smaller toy-hauler, preferably no bigger than 24ft, and we prefer to travel in my Commander (vs. the wife's Nissan Titan). So I've been extra curious about how well it'll do long term.
Even the comment about a single axle trailer vs a dual axle...didn't think that'd be as much of a difference on shorter (like, under 27ft) trailers.

We rented a 22ft Forest River Wildwood 2 years ago and pulled it down to Johnson Valley, CA for the King of the Hammers desert race and took it through part of the Sequoias on the way back up. Towing speed limit in CA is 55, so I rarely tried to keep speeds over 60 or the occasional 65 and the Commander did pretty well. High cross-winds in the desert was pretty sketchy, but I guess the short wheel-base is to cause of that. I got about the same gas mileage as you, about 9 or 10mpg...
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 11:48 AM
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We were think of a family trip down to the Sequoias this summer, but with the 9 mpg that we get towing I found my self planning the fuel stops more then the fun stops. Decided to put off long haul trips until I can get a Aux tank.

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